By Tyler Englander 2/14/2018

In her long awaited Olympic debut, 17-year-old American Chloe Kim did not disappoint. Kim wowed the crowd Tuesday morning in Pyeongchang winning her first gold medal in the Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe. Kim became the youngest gold medalist ever in a women’s snowboarding event. The win was a long time in the making for Kim. Only 13-years-old at the time, she was good enough to qualify for the 2014 games in Sochi, but couldn’t compete due to her age. Kim called the move a blessing in disguise saying, “Now that I think about it, I’m really glad I wasn’t able to go, I don’t think I would’ve been able to take it, to handle the pressure. Emotionally I don’t think I was ready.”

Kim was definitely ready to handle the pressure this time around scoring a near perfect score of 98.25 on her final run. Kim was able to put the exclamation point on the gold by completing two 1080’s to become an Olympic champion. Her score was more than eight points better than Chinese silver medalist Liu Jiayu. Arielle Gold of the United States took the bronze medal.

It was an emotional win for Kim, whose parents grew up in South Korea. She dedicated the win to her grandparents who still live in the country. “Today, I really did it for my family,” she said. Chloe’s father pointed to his daughter’s gold medal to show that the American Dream really is possible. Kim is not slated to compete in any other events at these games, but her star will likely grow even brighter by the next Olympic games in Beijing in 2022.

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